Sunday, July 24, 2011

2010 New York Comic-Con/ Anime Festival

Wow! What can I say, this is truly one of the coolest events I have ever filmed. This not like I filmed in a Lady Gaga concert on stage, but to me is as excited. I always been a fan of Anime and comic books for as long I remembered. I even undergo a punk/goth stage in high school where I would wear my spike wristbands, indulge in heavy black eyeliner, and listen to some heavy metal bands such as Slipknot. I still love that kind of lifestyle as of today, although I must admit that going to a preppy ass college like Trinity College did not give me much room for my attire. It sucks to be labeled "scary", you know. Nonetheless, I still study Japanese and watch Anime at my own time. Luckily for me, I had the chance to obtain official Comic-Con passes for myself and four other people. Unfortunately, only the two out of the three people came to comic con with me. Not to mention, I guess I did most of the filming. Sigh, lugging around heavy equipment in the middle of New York City. It was a three day event from Friday to Sunday. Lucky that I found a place to stay with a friend, thanks couchsurfing! The first day was Friday and it was quite more intense than I expected! There was so many people in cosplay, I did not know where to begin shooting. I was fortunate to run into a group of cosplayers to take me to the Jarvitis Center. The wait to get my press pass was relativity short...but the room for press people was so nice! Thank god I can escape the masses!

Let's start with the Friday (October 8, 2010) of Comic Con. Friday was the official launch of the event as thousands of anime/comic con book fanatics arrive in New-York for latest releases of Anime, TV shows, movies, comics, and lots more! Although I did not do much today, beside filming Comic-Con folks in action and panels, the highlight of my day was meeting my friend for the first time in 2 years. She obtained a professional pass and its just blissful to meet up with her. Thanks Kiba Dratter for all the fun memories from Comic Con and beyond! Saturday was the main event for my time in Comic Con. Although I was an hour late, I still managed to attend more panels and filmed more people in costume. Much to my luck, being late is not all that bad! I happened to land in the same panel as International Comic Book artist Stan Lee and R&B singer Ne-Yo as Ne-Yo was ready to release his new album, "Libra Scale". The album is a mash-up of Japanese animation, superhero and comic books. Luckily for me I was able to take a picture with him after the panel was over, and an autograph! Lucky me. I later filmed other panels on display, including KidRobot. After filming the panels, I took a lunch break to meet with other members with my group. I also got front row filming the Cosplay costume competition. Uncle Yo was the host of the event and I find it cool that the guy that filmed next to me was his business partner. Good to get close with those in fame, at least sometimes.

After a hard day of filming, lugging around heavy, expensive equipment, and meeting other artists, I took the rest of the day off and watched a free concert by Mihori Chihara, a famous J-Pop artist. I find it interesting that not only my press pass got me early access to the auditorium, but the glow sticks that the fans used for the concert were all used in sync. I end the night with the concert. Sunday was another cool day for me and perhaps the riskiest. Stan Lee was the last part of Comic Con. I wanted to interview him, but I needed special tickets to get autographs from him. Unfortunately, I do not have the ticket to get it. I only have a press pass, a random girl helping me film the rest of comic con since I gave her my extra press pass, and some Nigerian-British unidentifiable accent. The press group behind me was in the same position as we waited outside the crowd. For some dumb reason, I had courage I never expected out of me. I walked up to the manager of Stan Lee and told him that all I wanted was to film the fan reactions of meeting Stan Lee. My accent came out and the girl and the press crowd behind me became slient. The manager gave me a weird look, but his face looked like I came too far to go back empty handed. He granted only me and my friend access to the room as I left the press behind.

After filming the Stan Lee fans crying, shaking hands, shouting "excelsior", there was a five minute break for Stan Lee. Although I was not allowed to film him directly, I asked for his autograph and talked to him during his break. I was amused that he does not want a break, although he is clearly over 80 years old and there were more fans outside. I also find it amusing that he was surprise to learn that Xmen was indeed popular in Nigeria as well. Even the camera man behind asked to snap pictures of Stan Lee with his camera since I was the only brave one. My welcome was overstayed as I was asked to leave the room. I was greeted with many warm smiles from the press group and was told best of luck in my media future. 2010 Comic CON/Anime Festival was something I never forget!

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